International Day Of The Girl Child

October 19, 2021

The girl child was celebrated globally on the 11th of October 2021. The international day of the girl child was declared by the United Nations to amplify the voices of young girls around the world and increase awareness of issues faced by young females. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population, and it is crucial to accelerate their development through both awareness and action. There is need to empower young girls and women by providing them with proper healthcare, skill-based learning facilities, equal opportunities, and a world free from gender-based violence and discrimination.

As we celebrated this day, our thoughts were on the many challenges women face. We based our talks at the Choice Club this week on gender-based violence. Gender based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual due to their gender. Such violence is rooted in gender inequality through an abuse of power, and harmful norms. Gender based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue. Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic, or national boundaries.

This past week we had an unfortunate incidence occur in the city when two ladies were attacked in a high-profile hotel by twin brothers. The incidence was aired all over the media and it caused quite an uproar. Women came out and spoke strongly against the incidence. The twin brothers are being interrogated by the police, and we can just hope that justice will prevail. The chances of the brothers bribing their way out is very high, but people are alert, watching, and listening..

Kenya has had quite a number of gender-based violence acts taken against women, such as the incident, below.

Kenya is known the word over for its prowess in athletics. Whenever there is an international marathon, and Kenya is represented, victory for the country is always almost guaranteed. Most of these runners come from very humble backgrounds. Jokes have been told about how the athletes are ‘swift on their feet, but not so much with their tongues.’ These athletes have a hard time answering questions when interviewed by the international press. Most can barely speak English, and it is almost heart-breaking to see them struggling to answer questions after a race. This does not discourage them, however; they are giants on the track.

One of these long-distance runners is a lady known as Agnes Tirop. She is the 5,000m record holder. At the age of only 25 years, she has made a name for herself and amassed wealth that many only dream of acquiring.

This gifted woman (who broke the women only record in the women’s 10 kilometer during the Adizero Road to Records Race in Germany last month with the timing of 30.1) is no more. She also finished fourth representing Kenya in the 5000m finals event in during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Unfortunately, this young lady (also the world 10,000m bronze medalist) was found dead inside her house located on the outskirts of the city. The tragedy was confirmed on the 13th of October, just two days after Kenyans celebrated the day of the girl child. Agnes Tirop had significant accolades to her name and great fame. The many records she set were just a fraction of proof that hers was a rare life of amazing talent and gift. Due to her young age, the world was ready for her to conquer and claim it.


The main suspect in Agne’s death is her husband, a spouse who could not cope with her fame, so took away an innocent life. Agne’s husband had previously manipulated her to assigning much of her hard-earned wealth over to him. Regardless, he murdered her and was caught trying to flee the country. According to the Tirop’ family, Agnes had been using some of her wealth to educate girls from her village, and mentoring them to use their talents so as to make a living. All of that is gone, now.

Her parents regret not listening to Agnes when she told them that her husband was abusive. They kept telling her that everyone must work on their marriage to make it work; unfortunately, that is not always the case.

As we discussed the various forms of gender-based violence, our hearts went out to Tirop, and all the other young women and girls who have endured and continue to endure violence so as to make everything look okay. Abuse and violence, however, are not ever okay.

 Agne’s light was dimmed just like that; her future was brought to an abrupt halt. It is devastating to know that at her young age, Agnes had already suffered so much, and that the very people who should have defended her and accepted her back home, are the very ones that sent her back to live with her killer.

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